Upgrade to the latest version of Wear OS

Upgrade from Wear 2.0

This guide describes the upgrade process for Wear OS.

Android-specific changes

Wear 2.0 encompasses multiple Android versions, from API level 25 through API level 28.

Note: There is no version of Wear OS for Android 10 (API Level 29).

If your Wear OS app targets Wear OS 2.0 (API level 28), then most of the work to upgrade is handling the platform changes from Android 9 (API level 28) to Android 11 (API level 30).

There is no version of Wear OS for Android 10 (API Level 29), you need to handle those changes all at once when you change your compileSdkVersion and targetSdkVersion fields from 28 to 30.

Note: Even if you don't change the compileSdkVersion or targetSdkVersion in your app, ensure that your app is compatible with API Level 29.

Changes specific to Wear OS

Tiles, complications, apps, watch faces, and many other surfaces exist in Wear OS 2.0. When you upgrade your app, you must revise your user interfaces to incorporate the latest design guidelines.

Also, API level 30 includes the Ongoing Activity API. An ongoing activity lets an ongoing notification appear on additional surfaces within the Wear OS user interface, which lets users stay more engaged with long-running activities.

Note: Some features of alpha watch face APIs are available only on devices running API level 30 or higher.

Choose a version to start with

Most developers build a solid app that targets API level 30 and leave the minSdkVersion version low enough to target the most prevalent Android versions. For example, to enable support for Wear 2.0 devices, set your minSdkVersion to 25.

If you have experience with Android development, much of that knowledge is applicable to Wear OS. To find out what differs, read Wear OS versus mobile development.

Note: The API level 30 Wear OS emulator system image is in Developer Preview. See the release notes for the latest updates.

Jetpack libraries for Wear OS

The Jetpack libraries for Wear OS are a set of libraries that contain similar functionality to the Wearable Support library and better support for Wear OS 3.

The Jetpack libraries for Wear OS are replacements for the Wearable Support Library and aren't designed to be used together. The Wearable Support Library does not work on Wear OS 3.

For more information, see the blog post Wear OS Jetpack libraries now in stable.